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Spring show in the heavens

Spring show in the heavens

Spring officially arrives in March and Jupiter and Venus continue to dominate the heavens, appearing in such brilliance you can’t miss them!

This season Venus will rise unusually high in the sky due to the steep angle of the ecliptic.

If you missed the gorgeous conjunction the nights of Feb 20 and 21, stay tuned as the thin crescent Moon passes the planets later this month. On March 21 it appears next to Mars. On March 22nd the most dazzling conjunction of the Moon and Venus occurs with Mars below. An Earth-lit Crescent Moon sits in the sparkling Hyades star cluster March 24th, which, with the red star Aldebaran, will make a binocular treat!

As Venus performs in the west Jupiter rises in the East, located below bright stars Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini and above Regulus in Leo. Pan your binoculars slightly to the right of Jupiter and you should see the sprinkling of stars known as M44 “The Beehive” star cluster!

March 2nd’s waxing Moon will pair with Jupiter in the Eastern sky putting on another astronomical delight. The March 5th full moon is predicted to appear as the smallest full moon of the year. March 29th another conjunction of Jupiter and the Moon occurs!

Significant dates:

March 8th Spring Ahead. Set your clocks one hour ahead!

Friday, March 20th Astro Cafe. Meet at Pier 17 at 7:30 p.m. for everything Astronomy. The Vernal Equinox occurs on this day at 3:45 p.m.

Saturday March 28th Earth Hour – turn off your lights 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

April 4th Mark your calendars for the predawn total lunar eclipse on Easter Weekend/Passover. This will be the 3rd in a tetrad and with only 4 minutes of totality, one of the shortest!

Friday March 13th 7:30 p.m. RASC regular meeting Speaker Chris Pritchet “Supernovae and the Mysteries of Dark Energy” Sunshine Coast Arts Centre. Everyone Welcome. Donations gratefully appreciated.

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